At first, I was going to write a sarcastic, searing piece about California's Bear Fight and their new single, "Harlem" (because, you know, who knows Harlem better than a group of white males on the other side of the country?). With the constant whitewashing in Hollywood *cringes at thought of Ghost in a Shell*, I thought I was faced with a similar topic in music. What I thought was a song about Harlem, NY, after some mild googling, I realized it's an "unincorporated" community in Monterey County, CA by the same name. It pays to be less reactionary, friends! Use your brain, not your hearts.
Anyway, you can check out the "Harlem" below:
Bear Fight brings to the table some fun blues and indie rock vibes just in time for Spring weather. They bring to mind groups like the 1975 or Vampire Weekend mixed with the Black Keys. Basically, you combine the soulful, grounded elements of blues with the cutesy elements of indie pop rockers and you get Bear Fight. What these young men have created may be regarded as corny, but they actually pull it off. The sounds in "Harlem" show a certain music IQ that displays the depth of the band - they throw nods to classic blues and soul but add a modern, indie rock edge to it in order to create something fresh.
In regards to "Harlem", the group reflected:
"Written in the makeshift studio of someone's living room at the same time as our single 'She,' 'Harlem' was originally an idea played on the Fender Rhodes, just meant to be vocals and keys the whole time. After bringing it to the table with the band, we challenged the direction of the song and ended up with the final track. The song is inspired by feelings of the origin of the city of Harlem and the struggles of those in the city. It also deals with the struggle musicians have when faced with expressing themselves fully. We wanted the track to reach back into the past a little, calling upon familiar sounding tones and vintage guitars that encompass the classic nature and history of the title city."
It is unclear what is next for Bear Fight as this single is just that, a single - they haven't announced an upcoming EP or full length. But regardless, you can keep tabs on the band on: